One of the biggest music awards shows on Earth, The BRIT Awards is back for its 40th anniversary and the spectacular event took place at O2 Arena in London. It was an eventful night where the stage was used to entertain but at the same time challenge as well.
Jack Whitehall returns to host the awards show for the third consecutive year and he was the perfect host. He brought the energy up, everyone was laughing and there was no awkward moment in his wake.
The night was full of excitement as well as reflection as kind words were said in remembrance of Caroline Flack - a celebrated TV and radio host after her passing last weekend, February 15.
"She was a kind and vibrant person with an infectious sense of fun," commented Whitehall. "I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say our thoughts are with her friends and family."
Harry styles who dated the star back in 2011 wore a black ribbon on his suit as a silent tribute to her. He later performed a heartfelt performance of his ballad Falling. However, he made no further reference to her death.
What’s an award show without a little controversy? The BRIT 2020 was no exception. Rapper Dave gave a heart-moving performance that was deep and powerful, accompanied by haunting visuals and orchestra, his message was loud and clear. His influential performance depicted the dark truth about being black and the sufferings faced in his community as well as his African ancestors.
He accused Prime Minister, Boris Johnson of racism. In a newly-written verse, he called out the government response to Grenfell and said:
"The truth is our prime minister is a real racist".
“they say you should be grateful we are the least racist ... I say the least racist? That’s still racist”
One of the woke-est, bravest performers of this generation, Dave could have chosen to perform a catchy song the audience would vibe to but instead chose to use his voice for the greater good. Right after that intense, show-stopping performance, the 21-year-old was awarded the Best Album Award for his album Psychodrama
Politics was brought up again when Tyler, The Creator gave a shout out to former Prime Minister, Theresa May, who did not allow him to perform in the country 5 years ago as he accepted his award for Best International Male.
"A special thank you to someone who made it impossible for me to come to this country five years ago…. I know she's at home [peed] off - thank you Theresa May."
Politics aside, Mabel opened up the night with a caper, energetic performance that included 2 dance breaks to her chart-topping song, Don’t Call Me Up and at the end of the night cried with joy as she received the Best Female Artist award.
Scottish Beyoncé, Lewis Capaldi took home two prizes that night: Best New Artist and Best Single, for his hit Someone You Loved. He states that
“contrary to popular belief, the song is actually about my grandmother who sadly passed away a few years ago,” and not his former girlfriend. His soulful performance also shook the whole O2 Arena as everyone felt the raw emotion from his voice.
The performance that everyone was waiting for though was by Billie Eilish who debuted her new song No Time To Die - the theme song for the new James Bond movie. Her euphonious voice had the crowd screaming the whole performance through. Supported by a 22-piece orchestra, Smiths legend Johnny Marr and composer Hans Zimmer, this is one of Eilish’s best performances to date. She snagged the Best International Female award as she choked back tears and thanked her fans for continuously supporting her.
Other fiery performances include Stormzy’s high energy performance that was a genius medley of songs from his second album, Heavy Is The Head, backed up by more than 100 performers including Burna Boy (A Nigerian artist), a saxophonist and even a gospel choir. Later that night, he took home the Best Male Artist award.
Performance highlights also include Lizzo’s star-watted performance that had the whole arena jumping in sync to her hit tunes such as Juice, Good As Hell, Cuz I Love You and Truth Hurts. “The brits turned up!” she exclaimed when asked how was her experience on performing for the British stage. There was also a compelling performance by the winner of the Rising Star award, Celeste.
The winner of the most prominent award for the BRIT 2020, Best Album award, went to Dave as voters resonated to his frank and soul-stripping reflections on what it means growing up as a young black Briton in London. It was anticipated that this award would have gone instead to Lewis Capaldi as his debut album was the UK’s best selling album in 2019.
Dave dedicated his trophy to all of those who were hoping to walk up the same path, saying:
"All my young kings and queens that are chasing their dreams, I am no different from you. You can do anything you put your mind to."
At the end of the night, Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood performed together to close the awards ceremony in a legendary manner playing Stay With Me.